The next round of MN regulatory hearings for the Sandpiper/Line 3 pipeline corridor is starting...Come along for another trip down the rabbit hole! There will be 13 public meetings across northern Minnesota, from April 25 - May 11, 2016. Please attend as many hearings as you can and give written or verbal comments about what the EIS should include! Treaty rights, wild rice, spill risk, abandonment, liability, water and air quality, climate change, etc.....this is your chance to voice your concerns. Visit our event page for details and links to everything you need.
Tribal and citizen groups are asking the MN Environmental Quality Board and Governor Mark Dayton to transfer control of the Environmental Impact Statement for the Sandpiper and Line 3 Replacement pipeline corridor into the correct hands. We want the state's environmental agencies (DNR and PCA) in charge of the EIS because they have more expertise and are the only ones capable of navigating the Native American issues in the case. Please submit comments to the EQB supporting our request, before May 2. In December 2015, the White Earth Nation filed a motion to the Public Utilities Commission asking them to relinquish their status as the Responsible Government Unit (RGU) for the EIS and transfer that status to the state's environmental agencies. White Earth also asked to be included as a cooperating agency. Honor the Earth filed a motion in support of these requests. Now it's up to the people to demand they become a reality.
3 WAYS TO TAKE ACTION:
1. Come to a public hearing for Sandpiper/Line 3 EIS Scoping, and submit written comments.
2. Submit comments to the EQB supporting our request to change the RGU for the Sandpiper/Line 3 Environmental Impact Statement.
3. Use this SAMPLE LETTER to write Governor Dayton and ask him to put the EIS in the right hands.
The fact that the PUC is now starting a full EIS on this new energy corridor is a huge victory for all of us opposed to reckless pipeline development in the Great Lakes. Chi-miigwech to our allies at Friends of the Headwaters, the MN Center for Environmental Advocacy, and Carlton County Land Stewards for their excellent work winning that legal battle. But now we must fight for the high-quality EIS that these projects require. Here are the problems we are trying to solve:
1. The PUC is currently in charge of the EIS, with the Department of Commerce (DOC) actually developing the study. This is absolutely unacceptable for a number of reasons and unless they transfer control to the state's environmental agencies, the EIS will not be done right.
2. Tribal governments deserve a seat at the table and have asked to be included as cooperating agencies in the oversight of the EIS.
3. The federal agencies that have jurisdiction over tribal relations and the protection of wetlands (the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Army Corps of Engineers) must be included as cooperating agencies in the oversight of the EIS.
4. State law provides a 280-day timeline for the completion of the EIS, but with a project this complex and high-impact, that is not enough time to do it right. Only Enbridge and Governor Dayton have the power to extend the timeline, and Enbridge will never do it because they know that a high-quality EIS will show that the project is a bad idea for everyone except them. So the responsibility falls to Dayton.